Stephen Snelders
Search for other papers by Stephen Snelders in
Current site
Google Scholar
Colonial medicine and folk beliefs in the modern era
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

In the early twentieth century, Dutch doctors and public health officials tried to come to grips with the Afro-Surinamese belief in treef and its influence on the execution of public health policies. Both the Afro-Surinamese and new British Indian and Javanese migrants maintained their beliefs and practices about leprosy. Faced with a continued belief in treef and other folk beliefs among the large majority of the population, practitioners of Dutch colonial medicine investigated these local beliefs. Dutch physicians in Suriname were particularly afraid of the Afro-Surinamese as potential transmitters of the leprosy bacillus to other population groups. The Surinamese colonial government and medical practitioners felt the need for compromise to obtain compliance with their vaccination programme. To Dutch colonial medicine, the Afro-Surinamese and other groups' adherence to cultural beliefs endangered early leprosy detection and prevention policies.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

All of MUP's digital content including Open Access books and journals is now available on manchesterhive.


Leprosy and colonialism

Suriname under Dutch rule, 1750– 1950


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 90 18 2
Full Text Views 33 0 0
PDF Downloads 21 0 0